Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Terence Finlay, 79, ‘joyful…and deeply faithful’

Posted on: March 20th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

By Tali Folkins on March 20, 2017

Archbishop Terence Finlay will be remembered for his happy spirit and his “engaging, consultative” style of leadership, says Archbishop Colin Johnson of the diocese of Toronto.


Terence Finlay, who served as bishop of the diocese of Toronto and metropolitan of the province of Ontario from 2000-2004, died early on the morning of Monday, March 20. He was 79.

Archbishop Colin Johnson, bishop of the diocese of Toronto and metropolitan of the province of Ontario, said, in a statement released by the diocese, that among the things he would miss most about Finlay were his smile and laughter. “Essentially, right at the heart of things, he was a joyful, hopeful, happy person, and deeply faithful.”

Finlay also served, after his retirement, as chaplain to the House of Bishops, episcopal visitor to the Mission to Seafarers in Canada and primate’s envoy on residential schools to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In 2014, he was named to the Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice, a body formed to identify ways for the Anglican Church of Canada to put into practice its 2010 repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery.

Johnson also praised what he called Finlay’s “engaging, consultative” leadership style. “He had an ability to draw people together into consultative groups,” Johnson said. “In spite of huge controversies that took place, he was able to engage people across a wide spectrum of theological and social issues. That allowed conversations to happen during a highly polarized period of time.”

Finlay had “a great heart and passion” for ministries having to do with truth and reconciliation over the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools, Johnson said. He also loved serving as a parish priest, recalled Johnson, and served many churches as interim parish priest after he retired.

Finlay made headlines in 1991 when he fired the Rev. Jim Ferry, a priest in the diocese of Toronto, after learning he was in a same-sex relationship. Years later, Finlay said he came to regret his decision, and in 2012 Finlay and Ferry were reconciled at a special service. In 2006, after he retired, Finlay married two lesbian friends. He was officially reprimanded, and his licence to officiate at marriage was temporarily suspended.

Born in London, Ont. in 1937, Finlay earned a B.A. at the University of Western Ontario in 1959, and then a bachelor of theology at Huron College. He was ordained a deacon in 1961 a priest the following year. From 1962-1964 Finlay took a leave of absence to resume his studies in England. From 1964-1966 he served a number of positions, including rector of All Saints’, Waterloo, and Anglican chaplain at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. In 1967, Finlay received his MA from Cambridge University.

Finlay served as rector for a number of churches in the diocese of Huron, becoming archdeacon of Brant, in the same diocese, in 1978. He came to the diocese of Toronto in 1982, and served as suffragan bishop from 1986-1987, then coadjutor bishop of Toronto from 1987-1988. In 1989, Finlay was installed as diocesan bishop of Toronto, a position he filled until 2000. From 1986, he served as liaison bishop for the Missions to Seafarers in North America and the Caribbean.

According to the diocese of Toronto’s statement, Finlay was supported throughout his ministry by his wife, Canon Alice Jean Finlay, who served on the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches, among other international organizations. The statement offers prayers for her and the Finlays’ daughters, Sara Jane and Rebecca, and their families.

As of press time, a funeral for Finlay was to take place at the diocese of Toronto’s Cathedral Church of St. James, Saturday, March 25, at 10 a.m., with visitation and vigil the previous night.

 

About the Author

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal.  His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.

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Anglican Journal News, March 20, 2017

‘Nothing good’ about residential schools, Anglican leaders tell Senator Beyak

Posted on: March 20th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

By André Forget on March 20, 2017


National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald and Primate Fred Hiltz have issued a letter encouraging Senator Lynn Beyak
to listen to the stories and perspectives of residential school survivors. File photo: Art Babych


Canadian Anglican leaders have upbraided Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak for her assertion that the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was overly negative in its representation of the Indian Residential Schools system.

In an open letter published March 20, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald and General Secretary Archdeacon Michael Thompson said they were “dismayed” by Beyak’s comments, and stated there was “nothing good” about the residential schools system.

In a March 7 speech to the senate, Beyak had criticized the TRC for letting the negative aspects of the Indian Residential Schools system—which its report concluded constituted “cultural genocide”—overshadow the “good deeds” of “well-intentioned” teachers.

Beyak made similar remarks during a recent meeting of the Senate’s Aboriginal People’s committee (of which she is a member), saying she was disappointed the TRC’s report “didn’t focus on the good” done by Christian teachers.

Though the open letter acknowledged that “a small minority of survivors” had a good experience at the schools, 35 of which were operated by the Anglican Church of Canada, it stressed that the schools were an attempt at “cultural genocide.”

The letter pointed out the many ways the system was an affront to the rights and dignity of Indigenous people, from its stated goal of “killing the Indian in the child” by stripping away all aspects of Indigenous culture to the rampant physical, sexual, emotional and spiritual abuse perpetrated against many students. The abuses “were nothing less than crimes against humanity,” the letter said.

“There was nothing good about taking away children, removing their traditional dress, cutting their hair, taking away their name, confiscating their personal effects and giving them a number,” the letter said. “…There was nothing good about experimenting with children’s diet to monitor the impact on their dental hygiene or their digestive systems. There was nothing good about pressing children into forced labour. It was state-sanctioned cruelty.”

Despite the presence of “good, well-intentioned teachers, nurses and staff” in the residential schools, “the overall view is grim. It is shadowed and dark; it is sad and shameful,” the letter said.

The letter also noted the link between the residential schools and the many problems plaguing Indigenous communities as a result of intergenerational trauma, such as high addiction rates, poor health and family dysfunction.

“There is nothing good about Indigenous people treated as ‘second class,’ the blatant evidence of which persists in lower funding for health care, education, policing and emergency services. It is a travesty,” it added.

Hiltz, MacDonald and Thompson encouraged Beyak to review the TRC report, and especially the 94 calls to action, and to listen to the stories and perspectives of survivors.

“It is Indigenous people who have the authority to tell the story. It is our duty to receive that story and allow it to change us,” they said.

The open letter also noted that the Anglican church has offered apologies for its role in running the schools, and has committed to support healing programs through the Anglican Healing Fund.

Beyak’s comments have been criticized by many of her fellow-parliamentarians.

According to the CBC, Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett said Beyak’s comments spoke to a need for further education about residential schools, and the Indigenous affairs critic for the Conservative Party, Cathy McLeod, said the comments do not reflect the party’s position.

Others were strident. NDP MP Roméo Saganash, a residential school survivor, has called for her resignation, Liberal Senator Lillian Dyck, chair of the Senate’s Aboriginal People’s committee, has asked her to resign from the committee.

So far, Beyak has stood by her comments, saying she will neither resign from the committee nor give up her seat in the senate

 

About the Author

André Forget

André Forget

André Forget joined the Anglican Journal in 2014 as staff writer and social media lead. He also serves as managing editor of Whether Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The Dalhousie Review, The Winnipeg Review, and the Town Crier.

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Anglican Journal News, March 20, 2017

New Director for the Anglican Centre, Rome

Posted on: March 17th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

Posted on: March 17, 2017

Photo Credit: LamPal

The former Primate of the Anglican Church of Burundi, Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, has been appointed as the Representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Holy See and Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome. He succeeds Archbishop David Moxon who retires in June.

Archbishop Ntahoturi, who served as Primate of the Anglican Church of Burundi from 2005 until 2016, has been active in seeking peace in war-torn Burundi and the great Lakes region of Africa and has represented the protestant churches of Burundi during the peace and reconciliation negotiations in Tanzania, which were instrumental in bringing peace to Burundi. He also has extensive ecumenical experience and is Chair of the Inter-Anglican Standing Committee on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO).

He said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been appointed: I am looking forward to continuing the work of the dedicated men who have held this post before me. I would like to strengthen those areas, especially in peace building, where the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church can work together for a common witness.”

Born in 1948, Archbishop Ntahoturi grew up in a small village in southern Burundi, the son of a poor farming family. After training at Bishop Tucker Theological College in Mukono, Uganda, he was ordained in 1973. He came to England to further his theological training at Ridley Hall and St John’s in Cambridge, where he is now an honorary Fellow, and then at Lincoln College, Oxford. After his studies, he returned to Burundi where he joined the civil service, becoming chief of staff to President Jean-Baptiste Bagaza. After the overthrowing of President Bagaza in 1987, in a military coup, he was jailed from 1987 to 1990. In the 1990s he became Provincial Secretary of the Anglican Church of Burundi and was consecrated in 1997.

Archbishop Ntahouri already speaks French, English, Kirundi and Swahili and is looking forward to learning Italian! He will take over from Archbishop Moxon in September 2017.

The Archbishop of Canterbury welcomed the appointment: “I am personally delighted that Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi has agreed to take up the joint post of Archbishop’s Representative to the Holy See and Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome. The appointment of a former Primate to this post for the second time running demonstrates the importance I attach to developing the increasingly close relationship between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church. Archbishop Bernard has played an immensely valuable role in the life of the Anglican Communion for many years both as a bishop and more recently as a Primate.  He also brings extensive ecumenical experience in Burundi, in the Anglican Communion and in the life of the World Council of Churches.  I wish him every blessing in his new role.’

Bishop Stephen Platten, Chair of the Anglican Centre, Rome added: “Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi’s appointment as Director is exciting, building on the work of his eminent predecessors. He brings wide ecumenical and international experience as an Anglican Primate in a predominantly Roman Catholic country. He follows directors from Eurasia, the Americas and Australasia and so broadens the base of the Centre in completing our continental spread. It is excellent that, like his predecessor, he is a former primate and serving archbishop.’

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Anglican Communion News Service, Daily update from the ACNS on Friday 17 March, 2017

Anglican Evensong in St Peter’s Basilica

Posted on: March 14th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

Posted on: March 14, 2017

Choir of Merton College Oxford
Photo Credit: Anglican Centre

Another milestone in relations between Canterbury and Rome took place in the Vatican on Monday as a traditional Anglican Choral Evensong was celebrated for the first time in St Peter’s Basilica.

Anglican and Catholic bishops and clergy – including one female chaplain, Rev Dana English from the Anglican Church of All Saints Rome – gathered together at the altar below Bernini’s great bronze sculpture encasing the relics of the Chair of St Peter. Sunshine streamed through the giant alabaster window depicting the Holy Spirit as a dove, while the renowned choir of Merton College, Oxford, sang motets by the English Renaissance composer William Byrd, as well as some more contemporary works and well-loved Anglican hymns.

Rome Evensong

The director of Rome’s Anglican Centre, Archbishop David Moxon presided at the liturgy, which took place on the day that Pope Francis marked the fourth anniversary of his election to the pontificate.

The Secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Worship and the Sacraments, Archbishop Arthur Roche gave the sermon, highlighting the humility and missionary zeal of Pope Gregory the Great who sent Augustine, prior of a Benedictine monastery in Rome, to evangelise the English in the year 597.

Speaking of the “remarkable ecumenical nature” of Gregory’s ministry, the Yorkshire born Archbishop said “it’s not enough for us to simply remember” his legacy, but rather we must also become “missionary Christians”, praying and working “to surmount the barriers that remain”.

The liturgy concluded with a procession to the tomb of St Gregory to pray for the Church and its leaders, an event Bishop David Hamid of the Anglican diocese in Europe described as a “very moving and significant ecumenical moment”.

The celebration  came just two weeks after Pope Francis made an unprecedented visit to All Saints in Rome and just five months after he and Archbishop Justin Welby celebrated Vespers together and sent out on mission pairs of Anglican and Catholic bishops from the Rome Basilica of St Gregory on the Caelian Hill.

Merton College Choir followed in the  footsteps of Westminster Abbey choir, which has sung previously in Rome with the choir of the Sistine Chapel – a collaboration that has grown out of closer ties between the two traditions, in particular following Pope Benedict  XV1’s visit to London in September 2010.

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Anglican Communion News Service, Daily update from the ACNS on Tuesday 14 March, 2017

PWRDF pledges emergency relief funding for South Sudan and Kenya

Posted on: March 13th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

Posted on: February 27, 2017

Sudan refugees

The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) is committing a total of 50,000 US Dollars  for famine and drought relief in South Sudan and Kenya – $25,000 for each country.

The funds will be made available through ACT Alliance, a coalition of church-based aid agencies.

The PWRDF also released an appeal for donations for famine relief in South Sudan.

The appeal notes there are “alarming and growing signs of hunger” in South Sudan. The United Nations and South Sudanese government declared a state of famine in the north-central part of the African country last week.

“More than 40% of the population – 4.9 million people – are unsure where their next meal will come from,” PWRDF said. “These already-shocking numbers may increase to 5.5 million if nothing is done to improve access to food.”

Meanwhile, in Kenya, President H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta declared an ongoing drought a national disaster. According to PWRDF, nearly half of Kenya’s 47 counties are in a state of emergency, with rural areas struggling with livestock death and forecast reduction in the harvest.

The causes of the famine, according to PWRDF, include conflict, abnormal rainfall and economic collapse. South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 after the end of a civil war that lasted more than 20 years. But fresh conflict has been raging within South Sudan since 2013. PWRDF began working to help South Sudanese fleeing violence in 2016, partnering with SUDRA. PWRDF also made a grant to the ACT Alliance for supplies to refugee camps in Uganda.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has urged Anglicans to join him in praying for the South Sudanese. “We stand prayerfully alongside the South Sudanese people and their leaders – particularly those in the Church who are providing emotional, physical and spiritual support,” said Archbishop Justin Welby in a post on his Facebook page. “We pray for those on the ground who are delivering humanitarian assistance, that there will be an opening up of humanitarian corridors for the aid that is so desperately needed.”

For details of how to give a donation see the PWRDF website

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Anglican Communion News Service, Daily update from the ACNS on Monday 27 February

Anglican parishes pledge to ‘give it up for the earth’ this Lent

Posted on: March 13th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
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By André Forget on March 09, 2017


Climate change-induced permafrost melting endangers the foundation of St. Mary with St. Mark Anglican Church in Mayo, Yukon, according to parishioners taking part in a Lenten project to fight climate change. Photo: St. Mary with St. Mark Anglican Church


In a twist on the traditional practice of giving something up for Lent, Anglicans across Canada are pledging to make personal lifestyle changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—and challenging the federal government to match them by pursuing policy changes to fight climate change.

Fourteen Anglican churches have agreed to participate in Give it up for the Earth!, a campaign organized by Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ), a national faith-based organization lobbying for a greater emphasis on justice in Canadian public policy, to “increase climate justice in Canada.”

The campaign encourages participants to use a postcard or an online pledge form to indicate something they are personally committing to giving up for Lent (which lasts from March 1 to April 13), and challenge the government to make certain policy changes.

For example, individuals can pledge to commute by foot, bicycle, transit or carpooling to cut down on fuel use, or cut down on their meat intake, and ask the government to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and provide retraining for laid-off energy workers.

The postcards and online forms are addressed to Catherine McKenna, minister for environment and climate change, and will be delivered by CPJ during a closing event sometime around Earth Day (April 22).

For some of the Anglican churches involved, the issue of climate change hits close to home.

For example, the parishioners at St. Mary with St. Mark Anglican Church in Mayo, Yukon, are currently trying to shore up the foundation of their building, which is in danger of collapsing due to melting permafrost.

Valerie Maier, who serves as a licensed lay minister at St. Mary with St. Mark with her husband Charles, said she thought the CPJ project would be a good cause to take up for Lent because of the importance the land holds for her community, which is predominantly Indigenous.

As a personal contribution, Maier said the parish is planning to cut out use of one-time-use plastic cutlery, bowls, plates and cups.

“I just thought that this was something that we could take seriously during Lent, something to do that would be a bit of a sacrifice for each person, but also had a bigger effect too,” she said.

Local concerns have also fired the engagement of the Anglican parish of Fenelon Falls and Coboconk, in the Kawartha Lakes region of the diocese of Toronto.

The Rev. Susan Spicer, incumbent priest at the parish, said she wanted to get involved in the project due to environmental “pressures” on the Kawartha Lakes system.

“I wanted to know—and others wanted to know—what’s happening in our watershed,” said Spicer, noting that there have been conflicts between some First Nations people and cottagers over the use of water in nearby Pigeon Lake, particularly as it relates to the right of First Nations’ people to grow wild rice.

Spicer said she wasn’t qualified to comment on the relationship between these pressures and climate change, and so she wants to use the Lenten project as an opportunity to bring speakers into her community who can talk about the matter with more authority.

She also liked that the project, insofar as it encourages making individual sacrifices, gives people a chance to feel they are concretely participating in a solution.

For her own Lenten practice, she is drastically reducing her meat intake and trying to eat only local and sustainably grown and harvested foods.

“[Climate change] seems like a huge, overwhelming challenge, and nobody knows quite what to do,” she said. “I was interested in focussing people’s attention on what they can do, [with] respect to climate change.”

For others, the impetus for getting involved was concern over the role of climate change in exacerbating global poverty.

The Rev. Heather Karabelas, a deacon at St. Mary’s Anglican Church in East Kelowna, diocese of Kootenay, said she decided to get her parish involved out of concern for how climate change is making people living in developing countries more vulnerable.

“People living in poverty…are dependent on the natural resources in their areas, and they don’t have much ability to cope with climate variances,” said Karabelas, who has committed to eliminating meat from her diet and driving less as part of the campaign.

She also sees the campaign as being part of her vocation as a deacon.

“The diaconate is supposed to stir up the church and turn its focus to serve God in the world,” she said. “I thought this was an easy, simple way to get people involved in looking at how climate change is affecting poverty and hunger.”

“Lent provides us space to reflect and refocus, tune-in to our Christian calling, and renew our commitment to God,” said Karri Munn-Venn, senior policy analyst for CPJ, in a March 6 press release. “By participating in Give it up for the Earth!, churches are making a meaningful sacrifice while also making their voices heard.”

 

About the Author

André Forget

André Forget

André Forget joined the Anglican Journal in 2014 as staff writer and social media lead. He also serves as managing editor of Whether Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The Dalhousie Review, The Winnipeg Review, and the Town Crier.

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Anglican Journal News, March 09, 2017

St. Catharines priest to attend UN Status of Women meeting

Posted on: March 8th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
News

By Tali Folkins on March 03, 2017

The Rev. Laura Marie Piotrowicz says she’s planning to draw attention to the plight of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada—among other issues—when she attends this year’s United Nations Commission on the Status of Women this March. Photo: Contributed


A St. Catharines, Ont., priest has been chosen to represent the Anglican Church of Canada at this year’s session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).The Rev. Laura Marie Piotrowicz, rector at St. John’s Anglican Church (Port Dalhousie), in St. Catharines, will be heading to the UN headquarters in New York City next month for the 61st session of the CSW, which has worked since 1946 to promote gender equality around the world. It now meets annually.

Piotrowicz will attend as a member of the Anglican Communion Office delegation, a group of 20 delegates from across the Communion.

“I’m thrilled—this is an incredible honour,” Piotrowicz said in an interview. “And the fact that the Anglican Communion sends an intentional delegation to this—I think that speaks volumes about the importance of this as a ministry and as an expression of the gospel.”

The session, slated for March 13-24, will consist of meetings of the commission’s core group of 45 government representatives, plus many side events involving representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as the Anglican Communion. Representatives of NGOs will also be allowed to be present at commission meetings, and a limited number of them will be permitted to make oral statements at these meetings.

Piotrowicz says there will be opportunities for the Anglican Communion to address the commission—a prospect she finds extremely exciting.

“Can you even imagine? My head is spinning with this!” she says.

Each member of the delegation has prepared a brief outlining his or her main concerns. Piotrowicz says hers deals with issues involving Indigenous women—missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, for example—and human trafficking, among other topics.

Piotrowicz says she believes she was chosen partly for her national and international experience—she was on the board of directors of The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund for nine years, and is currently on the national executive of the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer (Canada), an international ministry that promotes “the use, understanding and discipline of prayer,” according to its website.

 

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal.  His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.

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Anglican Journal News, March 03, 2017

North American Anglican, Lutheran leaders call for ‘fair and generous’ refugee policies

Posted on: March 8th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
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By Tali Folkins on March 01, 2017

A Syrian refugee carries his daughter as they prepare to leave a makeshift camp at Idomeni, near Greece’s border with Macedonia, after it was demolished by local police in May 2016. Photo: Giannis Papanikos/Shutterstock


In a joint statement released Wednesday, March 1, the four leaders of the Anglican, Episcopal and Lutheran churches in Canada and the United States call on their churches to “be mindful of the global refugee and migration crises and the injustices and conflicts” that have caused the number of refugees now in the world to be the highest in history.

The statement, issued by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada; Susan Johnson, national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada; Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; and Michael Curry, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, begins with a reflection on the meaning of Ash Wednesday.

It’s a time, the bishops say, not just for personal repentance, “but indeed of the need of all humanity to repent of our indifference to the brokenness of our relationships, to the suffering of millions of people worldwide who are starving, oppressed, enslaved, or seeking sanctuary even if it be in a place far from their homeland.”

The bishops voice their concern about current government policies on refugees and migrants.

“Given the current political climate in the United States, it is important to say that while both our countries recognize the need for measures ensuring homeland security, we also stand up for the long established policies that welcome migrants and refugees,” they say.


Michael Curry, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church; Susan Johnson, national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada; Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; and Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, at a meeting in Chicago last October. Photo: William Nunnally/ELCA


The bishops say they are not claiming these policies are “beyond reform.” But “fair and generous policies,” they say, both strengthen the economy and  follow biblical teaching as they understand it.

“Fair and generous action and deliberations” on refugees and migrants, the bishops say, “are from our perspective, deeply grounded in the Law of Moses, in the teaching of the Prophets and in the Gospel of Jesus.”

The circumstances that force people to flee their homelands are among the reasons why millions of people have, for the past 2,000 years, sought the “compassion and justice” of God by praying to Jesus, the bishops continue. The danger faced by refugees is often so great that they don’t even survive the journey to their destination, they add.

The bishops also acknowledge and commend the “good work” done for refugees and migrants by members of their own churches, partner churches and by intergovernmental bodies. “We call on our Churches not to weary of this good work in the name of God,” the statement reads.

The bishops conclude with a wish that this Lent will be “especially marked” by prayers and advocacy for refugees and migrants, “on the run, in United Nations camps, in waiting, in our communities…And let it be marked by a continuing resolve in welcoming the stranger in our midst, for such hospitality is in keeping with the faith we proclaim” (Matthew 25:31–40).

An executive order by U.S. President Donald Trump putting limits on travel to the U.S. from certain countries, and by all refugees, has met with protests, legal challenges and chaos at airports in the U.S. since it was issued January 27.

About the Author

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal.  His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.

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Anglican Journal News, March 01, 2017

Christians around the world mark beginning of Lent

Posted on: March 6th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
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By André Forget on March, 01 2017


A priest from Trinity Church in New York City offers “Ashes to Go” on the corner of Broadway and Wall Street. Photo: a katz/Shutterstock


Today, March 1, Christians around the world will engage in a ritual at least 1,400* years old: Ash Wednesday.

As the priest marks their foreheads in the sign of the cross with the ashes of palm fronds from Palm Sunday of the year before, Anglican worshippers will meditate on the words from the Book of Common Prayer: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Some will do this inside a church or chapel. Others may take advantage of the recent trend among churches and dioceses, such as the diocese of Edmonton, of providing “ashes to go” at train stations and university campuses.

The imposition of ashes has its roots that go all the way back to Jewish practices of sprinkling ashes on one’s forehead as a sign of dejection and contrition, but during the first centuries of the Christian church, the imposition of ashes became associated with Lent, the period of fasting and penitence before Easter that mirrors Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the desert.

By the time of Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century, the “Day of Ashes” had become an official part of the liturgy.

While few modern-day Anglicans or Roman Catholics still rigorously observe the traditional practice of fasting on Fridays between Ash Wednesday and Easter, it is still common for some to give up foods they particularly enjoy, such as chocolate, for the duration of Lent.

More common still is for Western Christians to approach Lent as a time for introspection, an opportunity to reflect on the theological questions of sin and redemption underpinning the Easter story—or, in the case of a 2017 Lenten study planned by Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Vancouver, in the diocese of New Westminster, an opportunity for those new to the faith to learn more about its basic tenets.

Many Canadian Anglican churches host Lenten study groups, where parishioners meet regularly throughout the season to consider spiritual questions, and several dioceses and national bodies have created resources to guide Anglicans through what is often called the “Lenten journey.”

Some of these resources are more innovative, such as the Lenten calendar put out by the Green Churches network, which provides tips for reducing one’s carbon footprint, or The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund’s (PWRDF) Lent book, which ties Lenten spirituality to material questions of food security.

Others are more traditional, like the Society of St. John the Evangelist’s (SSJE) daily email, which includes a short video and prayer for personal devotions based on understanding the Anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission as “Five Marks of Love.”

Every year, the Anglican Church of Canada compiles a list of the tools available for local churches and individual Anglicans to facilitate their own Lenten devotions. It also links to resources, including those from the diocese of Huron, the Citizens for Public Justice and the Anglican Fellowship of Prayer.

 

* The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church

 

About the Author

André Forget

André Forget

André Forget joined the Anglican Journal in 2014 as staff writer and social media lead. He also serves as managing editor of Whether Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The Dalhousie Review, The Winnipeg Review, and the Town Crier.

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Anglican Journal News, March 01, 2017

PWRDF launches appeal for famine relief in South Sudan

Posted on: February 24th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments
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By Tali Folkins on February, 24 2017

Sarah Nyawar and her two-year-old child Nyamule Thuokhok, who is suffering from anemia and severe malnutrition, at the malnutrition ward of the clinic run by the International Medical Corps in the U.N. Protection of Civilians site in Juba, South Sudan. Photo: © UNICEF/UN053460/Gonzalez Farran


The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) is committing a total of $50,000 for famine and drought relief in South Sudan and Kenya – $25,000 for each country –  it announced Friday, February 24.The funds will be made available through ACT Alliance, a coalition of church-based aid agencies.

The PWRDF also released, through its website and in the form of an insert for parishes to add into their news bulletins, an appeal for donations for famine relief in South Sudan.

The appeal notes there are “alarming and growing signs of hunger” in South Sudan. The United Nations and South Sudanese government declared a state of famine in the north-central part of the African country on February 20.

“More than 40% of the population – 4.9 million people – are unsure where their next meal will come from,” PWRDF said. “These already-shocking numbers may increase to 5.5 million if nothing is done to improve access to food.”

Meanwhile, in Kenya, President H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta declared an ongoing drought a national disaster. According to PWRDF, nearly half of Kenya’s 47 counties are in a state of emergency, with rural areas struggling with livestock death and forecast reduction in the harvest.

The Rev. Joseph El Haj, manager of SUDRA, the relief and development arm of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan, said that over half a million people in South Sudan are now “on the verge of famine,” according to a story posted by the Anglican Communion News Service.

The causes of the famine, according to PWRDF, include conflict, abnormal rainfall and economic collapse. South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 a few years after the end of a civil war that lasted more than 20 years. Another civil war has been raging within South Sudan since 2013.

PWRDF began working to help South Sudanese fleeing violence in 2016, partnering with SUDRA. PWRDF also made a grant to the ACT Alliance for supplies to refugee camps in Uganda.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has urged Anglicans to join him in praying for the South Sudanese.

“We stand prayerfully alongside the South Sudanese people and their leaders – particularly those in the Church who are providing emotional, physical and spiritual support,” said Welby in a post on his Facebook page. “We pray for those on the ground who are delivering humanitarian assistance, that there will be an opening up of humanitarian corridors for the aid that is so desperately needed.”

Donations to PWRDF can be made online, by phone (contact Jennifer Brown at 416-924-9192 ext. 355; or 1-866-308-7973) or by mail. Mailed cheques should be payable to “PWRDF, Emergency Response: South Sudan,” and sent to:

The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund
80 Hayden Street
Toronto, Ontario  M4Y 3G2

About the Author

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins

Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal.  His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.

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Anglican Journal News, February 24, 2017